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Welcome to Arts for Health

Hello and thank you for visiting the Arts for Health web pages. I hope that they give you some idea of our vision, aspirations and current activity.

Following our, Invest to Save: Arts in Health project we have continued our strategic partnership with the Department of Health at local, regional and national levels and continue to work with and support the strategic vision of Arts Council England.

Over the last 12 months we published the second incarnation of the M A N I F E S T O for arts and health, which has some inspiring reflections from people who have contributed to it from way beyond the North West including Afghanistan, Australia, the US, Lithuania and Mexico. In the UK Lord Howarth described it as 'an enthralling statement,' suggesting that 'politics should be predicated on these values'. A big thanks to all of you and of course, this advocacy work still goes on. On a national level, I continue to sit on the National Alliance for Arts, Health and Wellbeing of which I am chair at the moment. Our work is primarily concerned with advocating for the field and presenting a unified voice for the regions and localities that make up the country.

Collaboration with international partners is growing and I am pleased to be working with friends and colleagues in Lithuania, Australia, Finland, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Estonia over the next few years. Inputting more closely to under and post graduate teaching leaves me increasingly inspired by the can-do culture of the university and the brilliant minds of the people I meet here on a day-to-day basis. These ongoing working relationships are diverse and enriching. I have been really privileged to meet and work with some extraordinary people and just occasionally, been able to commission work too.

We're continuing to work with Derbyshire Community Health Services who are the NHS partner in the Dementia and Imagination research programme which I'm happy to report, we got funding for. You can read more about this on the research pages.

Dr Langley Brown is now a Research Fellow with Arts for Health and is focused on making the huge arts and health archive publicly accessible. Langley's PhD thesis can be found here (PDF) and we're both thrilled to have had the support of Dr Rebecca Gordon-Nesbitt, who with funding from the AHRC has been helping us impose some order on all of this. We very much hope to continue working with Rebecca on a new piece of work this year.

Considering we are in the depths of a recession, the field seems to be growing and I only hope, that those of you affected by cost-cutting and organisational change, will survive and thrive. Like any website, these pages are only useful if we get input from people who visit it, so please let us have your ideas and get in touch about anything. We're particularly keen for people and organisations to be part of the North West Arts and Health Network and encourage you to sign up to our mailing list and submit your project details on the database, so you can share your practice with a wider community. We are thrilled that our database has over 10,000 people/organisations registered and our BLOG had over 80,000 visitors over the last 2 years.

Clive Parkinson

Clive Parkinson
Director, Arts for Health